Livestock Futures Rise Going into Holiday Break

Lean-hog futures closed higher, with the front-month contract notching a fresh multi-week high. Cattle futures also climbed.

Hog futures gained, with the front-month December contract at the highest closing price since Nov. 3. Indications in recent weeks that cash prices may be stabilizing after steep declines this year bolstered futures on Wednesday.

December Lean-hog futures gained 157 at 58.80, the February contract gained 57 to 58.07.

Live-cattle futures also were higher, supported by small numbers of cattle traded in different parts of the country at prices that were steady with last week.

December live-cattle futures added 70 to $130, February cattle futures were up 62 to $133, and Feeder-cattle futures for January were up 30 at $164.

Corn and soybeans gained on Wednesday due in part to investor short-covering ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.  Meanwhile, wheat was mixed.

Soybeans led the gains, as money managers like hedge funds and others exited bets on lower prices, which lifted the market. Corn nudged higher, also buoyed by short covering and reluctant farmer selling, and Wheat was mixed, with nearby futures weighed down by improving crop conditions and ample supplies, and longer-dated contracts supported by light pre-holiday buying.

January Soybeans rose 12 3/4 to $8.76, December corn added 1/2 to $3.64, December Chicago wheat shed 4 to $4.80, and December KC wheat fell ¼ to $4.57.

Cotton futures saw the largest percentage gain for the most active contract since Oct. 13th on Wednesday.  March cotton gained 3 to 61.97, and the May contract gained 119 to 63.96.

Gold futures fell Wednesday as the dollar climbed and investors discounted the possibility of a conflict between Russia and Turkey.  December gold dropped $3.80 to $1,070, and December silver closed at $14.17, down 1.3 cents.

Oil futures rallied to small gains on Wednesday after data showing a decline in the number of working oil rigs and a stockpile addition smaller than expected.

January crude closed up 17 cents at $43.04 a barrel, Gasoline gained a fraction to $1.39 a gallon, and Diesel futures also rose a fraction to close at $1.40 a gallon.

Natural gas prices rallied to small gains, shrugging off a larger-than-expected addition to storage as futures expiration likely forced the sellers filling the market to buy back in and close out their positions. December nat gas gained a fraction to $2.20.

On Wall Street, stocks were little changed on Wednesday with the biggest gains in the healthcare and consumer sectors as the latest data showed a modestly growing U.S. economy.  The Dow gained 1 to close at 17,813, the Nasdaq closed at 5,116, up 13 and the S&P 500 fell a fraction to 2,088.'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.